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I received your letter about the word hedonism and the way I use it in the phrase “Christian Hedonism.” I really don’t want you to be confused. But I’m glad you were surprised — surprised enough to remember what you heard, and puzzled enough to actually write your letter.
That’s part of why I use the word hedonism. It makes folks scratch their heads, and think, and write letters. I’ll try to explain why I use the word hedonism — which basically means “a life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure.” But first, let’s start with a story.
Suppose - Brother - Joe - Thing - World
Suppose you have a 10-year-old brother named Joe, who thinks you are the greatest thing in the world. He admires you. He thinks you’re cool. He loves spending time with you. And he loves to go fishing. His birthday is coming, and you really want to make him happy with a special gift.
So you take a few odd jobs around the neighborhood helping people with yard work to earn extra money so you can buy him a really nice fishing rod and his own tackle box. But to make it special you put a note in the tackle box that says, “This is a certificate of promise to take you fishing all day on the Saturday after your birthday. Just you and me.”
Money - Gifts - Note - Box - Birthday
You earn the money, buy the gifts, wrap them up, and put the note inside the box. On his birthday, Joe opens the packages and loves the rod and the tackle box. Then he opens the box and finds your note. He unfolds it and reads it. “Wow,” he says, “this is the greatest! I love the rod, Tom, and the tackle box. But all day with just you and me — fishing! Wow!”
And suppose you smiled and said, “My pleasure, Joe....
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